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Preparation methods further affects nutritional quality of food. Chopping, grinding, and heating foods depletes nutrients. Common preservatives added in processing cause depletion of nutrients and use of antimicrobial preservatives may decrease bacteria normally present in colon, impeding body's ability to absorb what nutrients are left in food after processing.
There has been very little research done comparing nutrients in food before and after processing. The result is that nutritional labels are calculated from unprocessed foods using what are called "nutrient retention factors". However, these formulas do not consider all aspects of nutrient loss and have been shown to be inaccurate in representing nutrient levels in foods after processing.
So what can be done to ensure adequate nutrition in our diets? The most sensible approach would be to eat only fresh, organically raised fruits and vegetables picked from garden just prior to consumption, eaten in whole, raw state. Of course, this is not possible for vast majority of people. While eating foods as close to ideals is a goal, it is no longer realistic to expect diet alone to provide adequate nutrition. Some form of supplementation is necessary.
In order to incorporate proper nutrients, in optimal amounts in ratio to other nutrients and in most bioavailable form, great care must be taken in selection of all supplements. Price is not necessarily an indication of quality. Taking maximum amount safely possible is not a guarantee of maximum benefit, either. Due diligence is required in selection process. Know that what you are taking is truly of benefit to your body.
Good nutrition is essential for healthy living, but obtaining sufficient nutrition from diet alone is nearly impossible due to modern farming, storage and preparation methods demanded by consumers. Careful use of supplementation is therefore a requirement for health.
What causes our foods to be devoid of nutrition? Modern farming and food preservation methods often play a role in nutrient depletion. There has been little research done comparing nutrients in food before and after processing. What is known shows us that supplementation is necessary for maintaining good health.
Karen Walker is a wellness consultant and author. She works from her home in western Montana. She and her husband, Lynn McCormick, maintain a website to help those whose lives have been upset by catastrophic health events. www.keephealthkeepwealth.com